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Great American Taxi to release CD in March

In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit, their uninhibited sound a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk, gospel and good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll. That loose, anything-can-happen feel is the hallmark of Reckless Habits, the band’s second album, which was recorded in Loveland, Colo., with producer Tim Carbone (from Railroad Earth) working together to bring the feel of an onstage performance to the recording process.

Street date for the new album, which will be released through Thirty Tigers, is March 2, 2010.

When banjo player Mark Vann of Leftover Salmon died of cancer in 2002, the band lost momentum. Salmon singer/guitarist/mandolinist Vince Herman had a few rough years and survived a broken neck before joining keyboardist Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder in March 2005. “We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.” The band’s current lineup includes Herman, Staehly, guitarists Jeff Hamer and Jim Lewin, bassist Brian Adams and drummer Chris Sheldon.

Great American Taxi has been compared with roots rockers like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Grateful Dead, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, the Byrds and Little Feat. Herman finds the comparisons flattering. “We’re definitely connected to all the acts in the country/rock spectrum, as well as the spirit of Gram Parsons and Woody Guthrie,” he says. “We want to address the issues appropriate to our times, while making music that gets people up and moving.”

“The band is a true democracy,” Staehly adds. “We tinkered with the tunes on the road, with everybody having input. In the studio, Tim would suggest ideas to make them sound bigger and brighter.” Carbone brought in the Black Swan SingersSheryl Renee, CoCo Brown and Shelly Lindsey — to add gospel flavored backing vocals. He also brought the Peak to Freak HornsJustin Jones, sax; Nathan Peoples, sax; Dan Sears, trumpet; and Dave Stamps, trombone — for some New Orleans-style brass accents, as well as pedal steel player Barry Sless (Dane Nelson Band, Moonalice) and banjo man Matt Flinner.

The 13 tracks on Reckless Habits gleefully stretch the boundaries of American roots music with a nod to both tradition and the future. The title track, for instance — Staehly’s salute to Gram Parsons — is as country as it is rock, a rousing honky-tonk tune with Carbone’s fiddle and Sless’ pedal steel kicking up the sawdust on a Saturday night dance floor. The titles of several other Parsons songs appear in the lyrics, and there’s a definite Cosmic Cowboy vibe to the band’s expansive playing. Staehly’s “American Beauty” tips its hat to the Grateful Dead, and features an extended jam. Herman’s “Cold Lonely Town” is a slow R&B tune that describes life during long Colorado winters. The Black Swan Singers add smoky doo-wop asides to Herman’s poignant vocal. Carbone has described its swampy laid-back vibe as “’A Day in the Life’ meets Gram Parsons in the high desert.” And that’s to name only a few of the album’s 13 songs (plus a 14th song, a hidden track, “Parade”).

The CD will be housed in a die-cut package designed by artist Greg Carr, who designed Steve Martin’s The Crow. “Greg has a picture of nuns smoking on the cover, wearing Reckless Habits,” Herman explains. “We want to give people something unique, so they won’t just burn it and pass it on.”

And finally, the band’s cryptic name refers to Herman’s unique skiing style. “A friend of mine once said I came downhill looking like a great American taxi — a large, lumbering object that’s totally out of control and coming downhill towards you faster and faster. It seemed to fit the band’s m.o., so we adopted it.”

Great American Taxi Celebrates Beer and More This Fall

Vince Herman and Chad Staehly are leading their new line-up in the Great American Taxi into an exciting autumn of shows.  Taxi now boasts a solid core line-up after some experimentation with Jim Lewin from Santa Cruz, CA on electric guitars along with Boulder-area players Chris Sheldon on drums and Brian Adams on bass (both toured extensively in the Phish tribute band Phix).  First stop is this weekend to celebrate Boulder Beer’s 30th Anniversary at the Boulder Theater on Friday September 18th with local Denver pickers Oakhurst on support duties.  GAT then heads off west to play a set of their own at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco as well as backing up Todd Snider for some of his set the following day.  Snider and Taxi first hooked up in Durango earlier this year and again at the Hoxeyville Music Festival in Michigan just this past August.  They will also do a few more dates together in November.  Railroad Earth has also added Taxi onto a few bills in October.  Dates continue to be added so check out www.greatamericantaxi.com for updated info.

September 18 - Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO with Oakhurst

September 30 - The State Room - Salt Lake City, UT

October 1 - Crystal Bay Club and Casino - Crystal Bay, NV - free show!

October 3 - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival - Golden Gate Park - San Francisco, CA

October 4 - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival with Todd Snider

October 7 - tba

October 8 - Connecticut Yankee - San Francisco, CA

October 9 - Catalyst Club - Santa Cruz, CA

October 10 - Hop Monk Tavern - Sebastopol, CA

October 23 - Magnolia Music Festival - Live Oak, FL w/ special guest Barry Sless

October 24 - Magnolia Music Festival - Live Oak, FL w/ special guest Barry Sless

October 26 - Beachland Ballroom and Tavern - Cleveland, OH w/ Railroad Earth

October 27 - Mr. Small’s - Millvale, PA w/ Railroad Earth

October 28 - tba

October 29 - The Barrymore Theater - Madison, WI w/ Railroad Earth

October 30 - Vic Theater - Chicago, IL w/ Railroad Earth

October 31 - special Halloween show in Peoria, IL details tba

November 3 - tba

November 4 - Victoria’s Midnight Cafe - Columbus, OH

November 5 - Cosmic Charlie’s - Lexington, KY

November 6 - Pisgah Brewing Co. - Black Mountain, NC

November 7 - tba

November 8 - Smith’s Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA

November 11 - The Rutledge - Nashville, TN

November 12 - The Copper Dragon - Carbondale, IL

November 13 - tba

November 13 - Shank Hall - Milwaukee, WI w/ Todd Snider

Tell President Obama to protect our oceans, coasts & Great Lakes

We've known for years that our oceans are in trouble, struggling under the strain of oil drilling, pollution and overfishing. More recently, scientists have learned that rising amounts of carbon dioxide from burning fuels reacts with seawater to form an acid that dissolves sea shells. This process, called ocean acidification, makes it more difficult for any shelled creature in the ocean to survive and threatens the stability of marine food webs worldwide.

Healthy marine and Great Lakes systems regulate our climate and provide us with food, jobs and recreational opportunities. Protecting and restoring them to health now is made all the more urgent because of global warming: the healthier these systems are, the better able they will be to withstand the additional stress imposed by ocean acidification and other harmful effects from global warming pollution.

Part of the challenge in addressing the various problems facing our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes is that they are currently governed by more than 140 laws and 20 different agencies, each with different goals and often conflicting mandates. Like the Clean Air Act for our air, and the Clean Water Act for our water, we need a national policy for our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.

Earlier this summer, the Obama administration announced that it would develop a unifying national policy and framework to effectively manage the increasing amount of industrial pressure on our seas, coasts and Great Lakes, and is now collecting public comment on what that policy should look like. Protecting, maintaining and restoring the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes must be the core focus of a national policy, which should be formalized in an executive order from the president.

 
What to do:
Send a message urging President Obama to issue an executive order formally establishing a national policy to protect, maintain and restore the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.



Great American Taxi offering free track from new CD!

taxiGreat American Taxi, which features Leftover Salmon frontman Vince Herman is gearing up to release their sophomore effort "Reckless Habits." With the official release date yet to be announced Taxi has decided to offer up a free download of "Unpromised Land" (labeled as "Whiskey" on a lot of Taxi bootlegs from the past couple of years) from their latest studio work, which was recorded in December of 2008 and produced by Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone. The album also boasts guest appearances by Barry Sless on pedal steel for a good chunk of the record, Carbone on fiddle for a few tracks, Matt Flinner plays banjo on the aforementioned free download, the Black Swan Gospel Singers and the Peak to Freak Horns. Phil Nicolo, multi-grammy winning engineer and producer also lent his talents to the mix and mastering of the record at his fabled Studio 4. Needless to say Taxi has swung for the fence on this one and the result is nothing short of pure Americana bliss. Taxi will be playing 3 shows on the Front Range of Colorado this weekend to celebrate the forthcoming release and will be accompanied on stage by the Black Swan Singers and the Peak to Freak horns as well as some great support acts. Thursday March 19th finds the band at Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins, Friday March 20th is at the Boulder Theater and Saturday the 21st is at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. These are certain to be special shows and tickets are still available. Follow the link below to get a taste of what GAT has in store from their newest release.

http://www.coolmusicnetwork.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=Great+American+Taxi

More info about Great American Taxi can be found at www.GreatAmericanTaxi.com and make sure to sign up for their mailing list for updates on the official release date.

Great American Taxi in the Midwest & rides w/ Todd Snider

hermanOn Saturday night Vince Herman and Great American Taxi finished a two week run of dates in Colorado and New Mexico highlighted by two nights supporting the Bill Kreutzmann Trio and culminating in Durango at the Abbey Theater.  Todd Snider happened to be playing the Strater Theater in Durango the same night and headed over to ride the Taxi.  He surfaced for the entire second set for a freaky folk festival.  Snider led on tunes of his own and some inspired covers including a take on J.J Cale's "Crazy Mama," Snider's own "East Nashville Skyline," and some fractured folk takes on some 70's funk hits.  It was apparent that all on stage and in attendance were witnessing a new musical meeting of the minds.

 

Great American Taxi is heading through the Midwest over the next couple of weeks while work on their second album is finished, entitled "Reckless Habits," which will expand Taxi's ever evolving sound aided by the production of Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone and supplemented with Barry Sless on pedal steel, the Black Swan Singers from Denver, CO and a horn section.  Although an official release date has not been announced, Taxi has shows scheduled on their home turf on March 19, 20 and 21 to celebrate the forthcoming release, including Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins on March 19th, Boulder Theater on March 20th with the Peak to Freak Horns and Black Swan Singers and March 21st at the Bluebird Theater in Denver with the horns, singers and special guest Bill McKay Band on support.

Great American Taxi: A Benefit for The DiscoverHope Fund

Great American Taxi - photos by Sam Holloway- for the Grateful Web

Great American Taxi is ready to charge into 2009 with a new album on the horizon and some new members in the cab.  In December of 2008 founding members Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon) and Chad Staehly brought their new line-up and a few special guests into Backbone Studio in Loveland, CO to record the next evolution to their "Americana without borders" brand of music.  Filled with electric folk, alt-country, a dash of bluegrass and good ol' rock and roll, Taxi has found their stride and sound. The latest version of Taxi includes Jim Lewin on electric guitar and vocals, Edwin Hurwitz on bass guitar and Chris Sheldon on drums and vocals.  Barry Sless is also considered a member at large adding pedal steel and guitar when he can get away from his other gigs and jump into the Taxi

The band has been led by Herman and Staehly since its' inception for a Rainforest Action Group benefit show in March of 2005.  Now approaching well over 400 shows, the band has kept a fairly busy schedule of 140 shows a year and has hit a lot of the premier music festivals along the way including High Sierra Music Fest, Wakarusa, Summer Camp, 10,000 Lakes Festival, Dunegrass, nightgrass slots at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the list goes on.  After a brief tour in fall of 2008 supporting Railroad Earth, the idea was hatched to have Tim Carbone (fiddle player from Railroad Earth) produce Taxi's latest album, and it proved to be a magical marriage. Carbone also added some fiddle to a few tracks complimenting Taxi's big sound which includes Herman's acoustic guitar, Staehly's rock and honky-tonk piano and organ work, Lewin's west coast telecaster guitar assault, Hurwitz's funky bass lines and Sheldon's tasty percussive blend.  Sless also added some pedal steel and guitar, and Carbone brought in a horn section and some gospel singers for a few tunes as well.  This all supports Taxi's original song-writing, which is also complimented by 3 part harmonies and strong lead vocals from four of the five members.

Great American Taxi's sound has been compared to a variety of roots oriented bands including New Riders of the Purple Sage, a "Grateful Dead for the new millennium," Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, The Byrds and more.  People will hear threads of the Leftover Salmon fabric propelled by an inspired Herman being supported by a cast of talented minstrels ready to follow Herman to the land of 'Festival!"  Herman's in-your- face, in-the-moment improvisation helps bring the party to Taxi's well-crafted songs.  People from all backgrounds will be able to latch onto something in the band's sound.  Great American Taxi is truly a melting pot of musical tastes and styles all rolled into their "Americana without borders."  Look for Taxi's latest album to be released in March of 2009. 

The DiscoverHope Fund (DHF) is an international development organization promoting abundance for women and their families living in economic poverty through microcredit and sustainable support systems.  DHF creates an entrepreneurial framework for the poor to actively participate in their own economic advancement, personal empowerment, and life transformation.  Of the worlds 6.1 billion inhabitants, one of every five (more than one billion people) live on less than one US dollar a day.  Nearly half of the human race, more than 3 billion people, live on less than 2 US dollars a day and are faced with the life-threatening reality of poverty every day.  These numbers represent real people, real families, and real stories of those who are trapped in poverty and cannot adequately feed, clothe, or shelter themselves.  DHF is rooted with the passion and vision to create a world that really works for everyone.  

Who:      Great American Taxi featuring Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon

            w/ Creek Road Ramblers

Where:    Coconut Louie's 2303 E. Washington #8 Bloomington, IL

When:     Saturday, March 7th

WEB:      www.greatamericantaxi.net Press photos, bios, dates and much more!

How Much: $10 – includes a raffle ticket towards 2VIP tickets to Summer Camp

Great American Taxi Rolls into Boulder

Hometown heroes Great American Taxi played to an exuberant crowd of pre-weekend revelers last Friday night at Colorado's historic Boulder Theater.  The band, which is the brainchild of Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon fame, cranked out their fusion of country, rock, folk and electric bluegrass until the wee hours of Saturday morning, much to the disappointment of the audie